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Tippett - A Child of our Time (LSO/Colin Davis) [Hybrid SACD, SACD]

Tippett Indra Thomas Mihoko Fujimura and Steve Davislim Audio CD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: 8.31 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Product details

  • Audio CD (30 Jun 2008)
  • Please Note: Requires SACD-compatible hardware
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Hybrid SACD, SACD
  • Label: LSO Live
  • ASIN: B0019ZF2RG
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 65,537 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. No. 1: The World Turns On Its Dark Side
2. No. 2: The Arguement: Man Has Measured The Heavens
3. Interludium
4. No. 3: Scene: Is Evil Then Good?
5. No. 4: Now In Each Nation
6. No. 5: Chorus of the Opressed: When Shall the Userers' City Cease
7. No. 6: I Have No Mercy for My Bread
8. No. 7: How Can I Cherish My Man In Such Days
9. No. 8: A Spiritual: Steal Away
10. No. 9: A Star Rises In Mid-Winter
11. No. 10: And a Time Came
12. No. 11: Chorus of Persecutors and Persecuted: Away With Them!
13. No. 12: Where They Could, They Fled
14. No. 13: Chorus of the Self-righteous: We Cannot Have Them In Our Empire
15. No. 14: And the Boy's Mother Wrote a Letter
16. No. 15: Scene: O My Son!
17. No. 16: A Spiritual: Nobody Knows The Trouble I See, Lord
18. No. 17: Scene: The Boy Becomes Desperate In His Agony
19. No. 18: They Took a Terrible Vengeance
20. No. 19: The Terror: Burn Down Their Houses!
See all 32 tracks on this disc

Product Description

Product Description

Tippett's response to the infamous Krystallnacht pogrom against the Jews in 1938 was his first major statement as an artist. Tippett took the title, A Child of Our Time, from a novel about a Nazi solider who suffers for showing compassion, whilst the intensity of the piece is heightened by his use of spiritual songs at the end of each section.

Review

Editor's Choice -- Gramophone

'... Colin Davis's touch is masterly ... The orchestral playing is peerless.' -- International Record Review, UK

'Even finer is the LSO itself: you can feel the intensity right from the opening notes, especially from the strings, and telling phrases stand out time and time again.' -- BBC Music Magazine, UK

'The octogenarian's astonishing energy, fully matched by the LSO, fuels a great performance from the London Symphony Chorus. Unmissable.'
Opera and Vocal Disc of the Month -- Classic FM, UK


Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars exciting 27 Dec 2009
By enthusiast TOP 500 REVIEWER
A Child of Our Time is a unique work - unique even within Tippett's very individual output - and seems to hold a special place in our hearts and minds. Certainly it is a work of prodigious confidence ... and that is perhaps the one clear sign that this is the work of a young man.

This account from Colin Davis - his third recording of the work, I think - is tense and thrilling. The LSO (and Chorus) play and sing with true commitment in this live recording. The soloists are very good. The results are breathtaking.

Does it compare well with the older Davis version with Janet Baker and Jessye Norman? Yes it does - it may not replace it but it has strong merits of its own.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tippett's magnificent oratorio 23 Feb 2013
Verified Purchase
If he had written nothing else, Tippett would still rank as a modern great for this deeply affecting, emotional reinterpreatation of Bachian oratorios in a modern idiom and with a sublimated political subject, rooted in the actual events that partly triggered Kristalnacht. The use of the spirituals at key moments never fails to raise a lump in the throat and a tear to the eye, especially in Davis' hands
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great introduction 22 Sep 2008
I had never heard this piece before I bought this for my wife who has sung in it and enjoys the spirituals in it. The performance - one of Sir Colin's specialitie - does have real electricity and has the excitement of a live occasion. The soprano has some cloudy moments but also produces some ravishing high notes. Every one else on form. A good introduction to this piece at bargain price from LSO Live
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A lovely piece of music 17 Jun 2013
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I have only just discovered Tippett and on the basis of this recording i am fast becoming a fan. As we come towards remembering WWII coming to a conclusion it feels like a very apt time for me to have discovered this.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Which Davis "Child of Our Time" to Choose? 31 Aug 2008
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on Amazon.com
I'm giving my hand away by awarding Sir Colin Davis's latest recording of Tippett's towering oratorio only three stars. He diectly commpetes with himself twice over: there's already a live 2003 concert from Dresden released by Profil and a classic 1975 studio account on Philips. I imagine that devoted admirers of this music will be curious about how the three versions compare, so here are thumbnail sketches:

Philips 1975 -- Long considered definitive, the earliest version features incomparable solo singing from Janet Baker, who is so committed and moving that she elevates Tippett's woolly but heartfelt text. Two other soloists, bass John Shirley-Quirk and the then-just-emerging Jessye Norman, are scarecely less good, although Norman's huge projection does tend to swallow up the words. The voice of the murdered Jewish boy who is the child of the title belongs to Richard Cassily, and I wish he were more focused vocally at times, but he is powerfully expressive and poignant. The BBC Symphony plays well but is no match for the later London Sym. We get excellent choral work from the combined voices of the BBC Singers and BBC Choral Society --unfortunately, Philips' sonics are resonant to the point of sounding cavernous, clouding the mass singing. As an interpreter, the young Davis is more lively and alert than in later years. All in all, a great recording.

Profil 2003 -- In Dresden, after an absence of 33 years, Davis returns to disc with a broader reading that remains deeply eloquent nevertheless. The solo quartet -- soprano Ute Selbig, mezzo Nora Gubisch, tenor Jerry Hadley & bass Robert Holl -- includes only one native English-speaker, which is a hindrance, but all are vocally superior to the later London quartet. The late, tragic Hadley is passionate although indlging in operatic sobs too often. Selbig's voice soars gorgeously -- she is someone to keep an eye on in the future. The orchestra and chorus of the Dresden State Opera perform well, but the acoustic buries the chorus so far back that all their words are garbled -- the biggest drawback to this otherwise moving reading.

LSO Live 2008 -- Although Davis, at eighty, remains energetic enough to propel the music when needed, there's a marked drop off in intensity. One must settle for eloquence of the more reflective kind. There's no doubt that he's still in command of a beloved score, and the London Sym. and chorus are probably the best musical forces among the three recordings, if not by much. The sound is clear, with good word capture from the vigorous chorus, but I'm not sure that ultra-modern SACD compensates for the solo quartet, all young English professionals but lacking in charisma and emotional impact. Even the non-native singers on the Dresden recording sound more anguished and involved. Strange, given the conductor's total dedication to this work.

It would be a long way around Robin Hood's barn to wind up simply saying that the original 1975 reading is the best, but it is. Now out of print, in the US at least, it can be found in a private release from [...] I should also point out that A Child of Our Time enjoys two other outstanding recordings, the composer's on, now on Naxos, and the first one, under John Pritchard, which sells cheaply at Amazon Marketplace. In any event, I've concentrated on various details at the risk of missing the mian point, which is that Tippett created a compassionate, heartbreaking masterpiece that deserves its reputation, along with Britten's War Requiem, as the greatest English chroal work after Handel.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tippett's Child: Vivid, Involving, This Music in Surround Sound 1 Aug 2008
By drdanfee - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Like Britten's War Requiem, Sir Michael Tippett's oratorio (cum requiem?) titled A Child Of Our Time is something of an acquired taste. Each composer worked in a tonally-based idiom without belonging to any particular composer's school of their original contemporary musical era in the last century. Each seems to have found his own personal musical way.

Tippett's work combines orchestra, choir, and soloists in a panoramic work of color, sweep, dramatic narrative, and lyric meditation. This work owes as much to, say, Prokofiev's Alexander Nevsky as it does to Verdi and all the other great requiems, not to mention how indebted its shapes are, to all the ideas of an orchestral song cycle writ large, springing from Berlioz Les nuits d'ete, all the way to Mahler's song cycles, thence to Britten's Spring Symphony, to Bernstein's Songfest. Behind all of these stands that mountain range of high peaks, JS Bach's passions.

The choral writing is often angular with bracing corners and clear, criss-crossing lines in that distinctive British choral manner, already familiar from Walton or William Matthias or others around and after the great world wars. Like other musical works of this scope and depth, the chorus gets multiple assignments - helping to paint the scene and set the scene, commenting like a tragic Greek chorus upon fateful turns, backing up the soloists and introducing them as voices bigger than solitude, rooting the solo singers in this or that musical context compelling.

Sir Colin Davis must like this work, and believe in it. He has recorded it too many times for his devotion to be either marketing driven or accidental. He competes with himself, then, in at least two other recordings where he has led the likes of the BBC Symphony (with soloists Janet Baker and Jesseye Norman), or of the Dresden Staatskapelle. He is also up against some pretty stiff recorded competition from Previn with the Royal Philharmonic, and the composer himself inspiring the City of Birmingham Symphony.

Not to worry. This performance ranks right up there with the others. To my ears, none of them sound wrong, really. Perhaps that is just a function of my continuing new long acquaintance as I continue to befriend and delve repeatedly into this surprisingly compact, many-layered work.

The soloists in this recording all sound young, and have hardly built up the world class reputations we can contentedly associate with, say, Dame Janet Baker whose fame is solid gold by now. But no soloist is weak or uncommitted, even if none are famously acclaimed at the end of long distinguished careers.

The African American spirituals which crown Tippett's work are all taken from hallowed local church music traditions. And no, nobody sounds very Black Baptist in the choir. But so what? Tippett ensconces the spiritual where it no doubt belongs, at musical pinnacle moments, heartfelt, outspoken, direct, appealing, stirring.

This is a sad music, not happy. Our world is suffering, and we mourn with those who mourn so many different things all around the planet. Yet as theologian James Cone urged us to understand, we are affirming human life even when we belt out the blues with every ounce of faltered and wounded strength we dredge up at the sad moments.

Highly recommended, then, in vivid surround sound multiple channel super audio. A life affirming set of gold review stars, then.
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